Government through the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has released about K154,000.00 for the completion of rehabilitation works on tourism facilities in the Lochnivar National Park in a bid to boost tourism in Monze District.
Area Wildlife Warden Wilfred Moonga said K19,000 is meant for the completion of the rehabilitation works at the Lochnivar lodge, K20,000 for the renovations of the cruise boat while K5,000 is for the works on the Chunga camp site.
Mr. Moonga told ZANIS in an interview today that the major rehabilitations works on tourism facilities in the park would significantly revive tourism in the district and subsequently tourist arrivals in the National park.
He pointed out that poor accessibility and deplorable tourism infrastructure was one of the major impediments to the development of the sector in the District adding that the upgrading of the Niko-Namwala road to bituminous standard and the rehabilitations works on tourism sites would open up the District and spar tourism activities that would benefit the people.
“We have received K129,000 for completion of the Lochnivar Lodge and K25,00 for other works like the renovations of a cruise boat and the Chunga Camp site. And once we are done with these tourism infrastructure works we hope to see an increase in tourist arrivals here and of course creation of jobs for the locals ,” said Mr. Moonga.
Mr. Moonga also said once all works are done presumably after July this year, the first priority would be to promote local tourism which he noted had not been fully harnessed.
“We have plans to ensure that the locals fully benefit from these tourism facilities by organizing outdoor recreational activities for them in the park because we have seen that most people here in Monze and Mazabuka travel to Livingstone just to see wildlife yet we have plenty of wildlife here. Apart from that we also want to arrange transfer services for tourists like Back Parkers,” said Mr. Moonga.
Meanwhile, Mr. Moonga said the wildlife population in the park was fairly stable adding that the Kafue Lechwe for which the park is renowned for is currently at 27,000.
He also said plans are in the pipeline to restock the park with other wildlife species such as the warthog, Giraffes and waterbucks.